The God of Great Reversals: Purim, Jesus, and the Lord's Day

Brian Mahon - 8/29/2021


Call to worship: Philippians 3:12-4:1

Text: Esther 9:1-22

There is no suspense. The author tells us the end of the ensuing battle from the beginning. The enemies of God's people, hard-hearted as they proved to be, could *not stand against them *on account of an exalted Jewish man, Mordecai. They make a complete end of their enemies. Ironically, were it not for this book, their memory would've been cut off. *Judgment is certain. By *grace, so too is *victory for God's people. Having gained it, Mordecai records it and obligates God's people to observe the feast of *Purim. At its heart is the theme of *redemptive reversal. As with all the feasts in the OT, this too points to Christ crucified and raised as the apex of redemptive reversal; and thus, it typifies and enriches the *Day we gather to celebrate the Gospel, in all its fullness, together which, itself, is a foretaste of *the assembly in Heaven.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The great reversal completed: God's people win, 9:1-16
  2. Their great rest and rejoicing: Mordecai institutes Purim, 9:17-22
  3. The great Redeemer: our celebration of Jesus


Discussion Questions: 1: Read Esther 9:1-22. 2: In 9:1, if we didn't already discern it, the author tells us the outcome before he describes the battle. What do you think is being communicated to us about the battle? About God? About us? 3: In 9:3-4, we're given the reason that fear came upon all the leaders of the world so that they helped God's people win the battle. What is that reason? Can you trace Mordecai's rise? How does he and it typify Messiah? In a twist, how might Mordecai have been more like what the Jews of Jesus' day expected? How was Jesus different? What confidence should we have in Him in fighting the good fight of faith? 4: In 9:5-16, we see the damage done. Think on what the counter-edict granted the Jewish people to do. What would it say of these enemies that they were ultimately defeated? What does it say about their hearts? About their pride? About the end for all who persist in it? Why do you think Esther wants another day to carry out Mordecai's counter-edict? Why do you think she would have Haman's deceased sons hanged as well? 5: In 9:17-22, the author finally gets to a main reason the book's been written: Purim. What is at the heart of this feast (which is still kept today by the Jewish people)? What should we pray for unbelieving Jewish people in light of this feast? How does it direct us, as all the OT feasts, to Jesus and the redemptive reversal we've received through the Gospel? Do we have a Day that we celebrate this gracious turn of events? What elements of this chapter enrich our understanding of our gathering on the Lord's Day?
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